September 8, 2017 – TRA Newswire –
Amtrak’s Sunset Limited service through Houston and Beaumont, a casualty of Hurricane Harvey’s catastrophic flooding, restarts service next week. The tri-weekly passenger train service runs on two host railroads, Union Pacific and BNSF Railway. Tracks along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast and in the Houston region had been undergoing extensive repairs for over a week and caused major disruptions in moving both freight and passengers.
Service between Los Angeles and New Orleans via Houston and Beaumont by the Amtrak Sunset Limited (Trains 1 & 2) resumes effective with the departures of the eastbound Train 2 on Wednesday, Sept. 13, from Los Angeles and westbound Train 1 on Saturday, Sept. 16, from New Orleans.
In a news release, spokesman Marc Magliari said that “Amtrak appreciates the work done by Union Pacific Railroad and BNSF Railway to reopen the portion of the route that was closed between San Antonio and New Orleans following the landfall of Hurricane Harvey.” Passengers with travel plans also can confirm their train’s status, change their plans or review refund information using a range of tools – including Amtrak.com, smartphone apps or by calling 800-USA-RAIL. Service Alerts, Passenger Notices and other announcements are posted at Amtrak.com/alerts.
During the onslaught of Hurricane Harvey and the resulting massive flooding along the Gulf Coast, service on the Texas Eagle between Chicago and San Antonio terminated at Fort Worth and the transcontinental Sunset Limited route from Los Angeles was halted at El Paso, before being extended several days later to San Antonio. The Houston Amtrak station was closed for several days due to high water in the area. Connecting bus service between Galveston-Houston to Longview’s Amtrak station was also affected by Harvey.
BNSF Railway has restored service on all of their subdivisions impacted by Harvey in southeastern Texas. Trains were moving again on the entire Longview Subdivision yesterday morning and the Silsbee Subdivision, between Beaumont and Silsbee, Texas, returned to service last night. The primary rail line connecting Beaumont and locations in Louisiana has also re-opened to traffic.
In a news release Beth Whited, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, Marketing & Sales for Union Pacific Railroad said “thanks to the incredible work of countless teams the majority of service has been restored. At the height of the storm 1,750 miles of track were out of service and 2,440 route miles were affected. As of today, just 50 miles of track are out of service and 420 route miles have been affected. While we’d like to see zero impacts to our service, we are proud of the substantial progress we’ve made.” Whited said a presentation highlighting UP’s restoration efforts had been posted to this link Rail Impact and Service Recovery Efforts